CLSA sells Japanese car auction company(1)

The Hong Kong-headquartered firm had initially bought MIRIVE in 2013 through its second buyout fund, Sunrise Capital II.

CLSA Capital Partners has sold all of its shareholding in Japanese car auction operator MIRIVE to MR Holdings for an undisclosed sum, the firm said in a statement.

The firm bought MIRIVE in 2013 through Sunrise Capital II, a 2012-vintage vehicle that closed on $210 million, having initially targeted $400 million.

CLSA Capital Partners declined to comment on investment returns.

Sunrise Capital Partners II is CLSA Capital Partners’ second Japan buyout fund, focusing on businesses in the mid-cap space. Among the fund’s current investments are tutoring business KK BC Holdings, car maintenance toolmaker WorldTool, and food and beverage company Asamiya.

Known investors in CLSA funds include the National Pension Service of Korea, International Finance Corporation, Asian Development Bank and Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement Fund, according to PEI Research & Analytics.

During the firm’s three-year ownership, Sunrise Capital II rebranded Mirive, introduced differentiated offerings by client type and grew the auction volume capacity by 36 percent by transforming and significantly upgrading the auction system, Shota Kuwaki, senior vice president at CLSA Capital Partners (Japan) told Private Equity International.

He said that the company was able to withstand industry-wide downward pressure on margins by offsetting that with high volume growth.

“We are happy to have achieved relatively stable growth just three years into investment, ant that we were able to generate strong returns,” Kuwaki said.

Kuwaki added that Sunrise Capital II is looking to make two to three more investments in the near future. 

MIRIVE, previously known as BCN Corporation, is a B2B used car auction operator headquartered in northern Tokyo.

CLSA Capital Partners is the alternative asset-management arm of brokerage and investment group, CLSA.

CLSA Capital Partners has approximately $3 billion under management. Its offices are located in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.